This activity focuses on the value of communication and trust.
Size of Group
This activity is ideal for an audience of 30-40. Participants will work in pairs.
- 1 wooden/traditional mouse trap per pair
- 1 blindfold per pair
A. Set Up / Preparation
1. This is an advanced activity to be led by a skilled facilitator with groups that are ready for the challenge.
2. Prior to leading this activity you must accurately assess your group’s ability tosafely participate in this activity. Do not attempt this activity if your or your group isn’t ready.
3. Make sure your group understands that participation in this activity is purely voluntary. If you don’t want to participate then don’t do it. Find some other way to add value to the experience (observe and give feedback, etc.).
4. When you’re group is clear on the rules of engagement tell them there will be four stages to this activity:
The Four Stages (Steps)
Step #1 Leader demonstrates how to set a mousetrap. Partner up, each pair gets 1 mousetrap, practice setting the trap. The planning takes about 15 minutes.
Step #2 Partners each get a chance to set a trap with their eyes closed or with their blindfolds. Plan on this taking about 4-5 minutes.
Step #3 Show the group how to safely un-set a trap by placing your hand directly on top of the trap and then taking yourhand off the trap. This step can be a shocker for some. They might find it hard to believe what you’re doing. Plan on this taking about 5 minutes to have pairs try.
Step #4 Person A closes eyes then person B sets trap and places it on a hard surface. Person A is coached by person B to un-set trap. Switch roles.
Note: Do not rush this activity. Pacing is very important. Take this activity very seriously. Jokes are not allowed this time. Practice each of the four steps one at a time.
A high degree of trust is required to successfully accomplish this challenge. This challenge is best left for a group that is advanced as far as maturity and their ability to safely care for one another. People can get hurt in this activity but it is unlikely they will get seriously hurt (that’s one reason we use a mouse trap instead of a rat trap!).
Guide Questions for Processing
- Which did you prefer, to coach or be coached? Why?
- If this mouse trap represents a fear in your life, what did you like about how you handled it? What would you change?
- What did you observe in the interactions between partnerships around you?
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